Eradicating deadly E. coli O157:H7 from the bottoms of cows may prevent future outbreaks of food poisoning by this famous bug. According to an article in the August 2004 issue Microbiology Today, the quarterly magazine of the Society for General Microbiology, the majority of people with E. coli O157:H7, picked up the infection from cattle, either through direct contact with faeces or by consuming contaminated meat or milk.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with the Scottish Agricultural College and the Moredun Research Institute, were surprised to find that E. coli O157:H7 colonises only the last few centimetres of the cattle gut. As a result, bacteria are spread onto the surface of faeces as they leave the cow and can easily contaminate the environment.
“We are focused on understanding where and how E. coli O157:H7 colonises cattle”, explains Dr David Gally from the University of Edinburgh. “Our aim is to produce vaccines that stop the bacteria from attaching themselves to the gut wall. This prevents colonisation and therefore reduces the threat to human health from this dangerous pathogen.”
Faye Jones | alfa
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The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
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Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
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Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.
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After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.
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